I’ve just had an email informing me that prominent journalist Tasneem Khalil has been arrested by the military police in Bangladesh, a serious attack on press freedom in the country. An editor and outspoken journalist for the English daily newspaper Daily Star, he also worked for CNN and Human Rights Watch in the country. Of late he has been documenting the military’s attempts to take over Bangladesh and restrict political rights and free speech in the country.
Apparently Mr. Khalilâ€™s crime is that he did his job. He spoke truthfully about the current situation in Bangladesh. He was interviewed by Nora Boustany of the Washington Post last month – that interview may have cost him his freedom and now possibly his life.
I have been speaking out over the last month about the military takedown of the democratic system in Bangladesh. One by one the fundamental rights of Bangladeshis have been taken away. But, Bangladeshis have recently started to fight back against the military. The press, the people and the courts have begun speaking out. The military now aims to silence them. Their thuggery is now plain to see.
Human Rights Watch has also issued a press release. SD says this has also been elevated to the US State dept and Washington Post should be doing a story.
We need to organise joint protests in Washington and London in front of the Bangladeshi embassies to raise the profile of this arrest and highlight human rights abuses there. Who’s with me? Email me if you’re interested or post below.
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Filed in: Bangladesh,Civil liberties,Media